Dynamic Duo

Get Ready to Crack Up as Tick, Tick...BOOM!'s George Salazar & Nick Blaemire Talk Comedy Routines, Life Ruining Friendship & Their Last Five Years

October 28th, 2016 by

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Get Ready to Crack Up as Tick, Tick...BOOM!'s George Sala...

Whether you saw the original production, grew up obsessing over the cast recording, or you're brand-new to the piece, get yourself over to Theatre Row to see the fantastic Keen Company revival of Jonathan Larson's Tick, Tick...BOOM!. Nick Blaemire stars as Jonathan and George Salazar is his best friend, Michael (as well as Jonathan's dad and an array of other colorful characters), in the autobiographical musical that tackles turning 30, creating art, selling out, and much more. Five years ago, the pair co-starred together in the Broadway revival of Godspell singing two of the night's biggest crowd-pleasers (Blaemire sang "We Beseech Thee" and Salazar led "Light of the World"). BroadwayBox chatted with the comical dynamic duo about that original Godspell experience, reuniting for Tick, Tick...BOOM!, and the laughs they always share IRL.

Nick BLAEMIRE GIF- George Salazar GIF- TIck Tick Boom GIF- HUG GIF


My first impression of my co-star:

George:
...that's Nick Blaemire!? Oh. 

Totally kidding! I was actually terrified of him. I was one of the new kids in Godspell and I thought he was so cool, and I was so impressed with all that he had done in his career by that point. But he quickly proved himself to be totally down to earth and inclusive and not an A-hole and we grew to be thick as thieves.

Nick:
That he was hilarious. I was intimidated by how easy it is for him to be funny, and that's still my impression of him. He makes me laugh, on average, about every 15-20 seconds. Don't tell him though, it'll get worse.


My favorite moment we share onstage together in Tick, Tick…BOOM!:

George:
This is a tough question to answer. I wouldn't be lying if I said every moment is my favorite moment. Nick is a very generous scene partner whether it's a funny moment or a very heavy moment, but I'd have to say the most FUN I have with him is in "No More." Jonathan Silverstein and Christine O'Grady, our director and choreographer, gave us a ton of freedom to play and it's the only opportunity for Jon and Michael to let loose and have fun with each other like we imagined they'd do as kids.

Nick:
Our last scene together is wonderfully written, and very tricky to play. It's entirely dependent on us both being there for each other, passing the ball back and forth, keeping each other on our toes. And after doing Godspell with George, which was a more like a song cycle than a book musical, it's so fun to play a real scene with him.


I think our most memorable performance so far had to have been:

George:
Our first preview of Tick, Tick…BOOM! There was just so much energy and we were all so proud and thrilled to share what we had been working on for weeks with an audience for the first time. We learned a lot about our show from doing it for the first audience; it felt frenetic at times, but it was very comforting knowing we had each other's backs. And it went off without a hitch!

Nick:
First preview was pretty insane. Our adrenaline was high, shot out of a cannon into “30/90”—and then the soundboard crashed. We had to leave the stage and wait for 40 minutes while they fixed it and the audience got themselves half-priced drinks (thanks Theatre Row). Talk about coitus interuptus. We were all walking around in circles backstage, trying to keep our energy up. George did a full-on half-hour stand-up routine for the band. Then we went out and had a great rest of the show to a psyched, drunk house. It was some live-ass theater.


My favorite Godspell memory of him has to be:

George:
My favorite Godspell memory of Nick is definitely our meals between shows. Before the last show on Sunday nights, we'd either go to McDonald's and binge eat with Wallace Smith and Telly Leung or we'd go to Capital Grille with Julia Mattison and have expensive steaks like rockstars/John Goodman. Also I really enjoy laughing about the day Lindsay Mendez poked Nick's eye and scratched his cornea. Totally not funny because Nick could've gone blind, but totally funny because Nick did not go blind. Thank God.

Nick:
During Godspell we both got auditions for the reboot of In Living Color on Fox (which never actually went to air), and had to come up with three improvised characters to show casting. So George and I met in his dressing room at Circle in the Square and tried out our ideas on each other before we each went in. It was so scary and funny and I felt like I was living in a showbiz memory I wouldn't soon forget—which I clearly didn't, as I'm telling you about it 5 years later.


I could always depend on him to:

George:
Be there for me. Nick is like a wizard with the best advice always. Whether it's a conversation about the show or a question about navigating this business or a question about life, Nick has always been there. And like I said before, he's a generous scene partner, so when we're on stage, I breathe easy knowing that a-hole has my back.

Nick:
Say something disgusting and give me sage advice in equal measure. He's a great friend on and offstage.


Fictional character that reminds me most of him:

George:
This guy from Fiddler on the Roof
(That's actually just Nick wearing Ciara's hat in Sugar.)

Nick:
Harriet Winslow from Family Matters.


Off-stage, my co-star and I bond over:

George:
Television and food. He's sort of resisting Westworld because of all the violence, but I'm trying to convince him that aside from the violence, it's a very good TV show. It's a very good TV show, Nick. I know you're reading this.

Nick:
TV shows, offensive jokes, destroying the lives of our stage managers, freestyled songs (he's a great drummer and we try to play a little before every show).


A role I’d love to see him do someday:

George:
I'd love to see Nick as Jamie in The Last Five Years. Another musical about a writer. He'd sound sick singing that music and he'd add his own twist to it, not to mention acting the shit out of it. I would of course like to play Cathy. Sherie Rene Scott, Betsy Wolfe, Anna Kendrick, and Cynthia Erivo are all great, but I'd bring something very special to the role. Ya hear me, producers? YA HEAR ME!? 

Nick:
Cunningham in Book of Mormon. Or the lead of his own TV show on Comedy Central.


I’m in awe of his ability to:

George:
Wear so many hats as an artist and wear those hats so well and effortlessly. I've seen Nick's work as a writer and I've seen his work as an actor, and he's just very good every time. He cares about his work so much and that shines through. I've always looked up to Nick and all of that is why.

Nick:
Ruin my life.


Jonathan Larson song I’d use to describe my co-star’s personality:

George:
“Why” from Tick, Tick…BOOM! is pretty Nick-specific. Especially the lyric "over and over and over till I get it right." He's a perfectionist who cares so much about his work and he very clearly loves what he does. That's what's most moving as a friend of his watching him perform that number. It's so personal and it's so Nick. Also "Out Tonight" because there's a lot of Mimi in Nick. Yeah, yeah I change my answer to "Out Tonight."

Nick:
“No More”.

Nick BLAEMIRE GIF- George Salazar GIF- TIck Tick Boom GIF

Get over to off-Broadway's Acorn Theatre before December 18 to see George Salazar and Nick Blaemire's can't-miss performances in Tick, Tick...BOOM!